As a Georgia State student, Marlina McKay joined Park Pride in 2005 part time doing data entry, but she was soon brought on full time to help with our ever expanding tech and data needs. Although Marlina’s official title is Manager of IT, she’s a lot more than that. From assisting Friends groups with tech problems, pitching in with whatever is needed, providing an impromptu violin serenade or just making us smile with corny jokes and puns, Marlina brightens our days.
Registered landscape architect, Walt Ray, has made quite a mark in his 10 years with Park Pride. He created the “Park Visioning” Program to help communities develop shared visions for their parks. Already over $14 million has been invested in the 31 vision plans created to date. Walt’s passion for communities and belief that anything is possible inspires people, and he has a real talent for facilitating compromise. He enjoys mentoring and has developed a highly successful landscape architect intern program providing real world experience. To get a sense of Walt’s impact, go anywhere in Atlanta with him – inevitably you will encounter people he has worked with who will greet him like a long lost friend.
When asked why they’ve remained at Park Pride for a decade, Marlina exclaimed, “I love helping people and parks!” And after a moment of reflection, Walt responded, “For the human connections I make. The more I get to know different people, their concerns and goals, the more I understand myself.”
Park Pride is lucky to have you both!